Beans, beans, the magical food! An excellent source of lean protein and fiber, beans make a filling addition to any meal or snack. Here are five reasons why beans are the best.
- Vegetarian protein source. Beans have 8-10 grams of protein in ½ cup. Replace all or some of the meat in your favorite recipes with beans for a tasty vegetarian option. For example, if you normally brown two pounds of beef for tacos, use one pound of beef and one 14 ounce can of black or pinto beans.
- High fiber food. Most beans have at least 5 grams of fiber per ½ cup; some have up to 12 grams in ½ cup serving. This makes them an excellent source of fiber. Fiber helps control cholesterol, improves gastrointestinal health, and may decrease heart disease risk. They contain a combination of soluble and insoluble fibers, to keep the digestive system running smoothly.
- Nutrient-dense. Beans are rich in magnesium, potassium, folate, and iron. They pack a serious nutritional punch. Try the following recipes to find new ways to add beans to your diet!
- They provide long-lasting energy. The combination of protein and fiber in beans keeps hunger at bay for longer than simple carbohydrates alone. Add beans to meals & snacks, and stay satiated for longer than usual.
- They're inexpensive. Beans are generally a very low-cost food, especially if you purchase them dry and prepare in bulk. Adding beans for some or all of the meat normally contained in a recipe will reduce the cost-per-serving of the end product while providing health benefits and not changing tastes.
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